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Braggs Reflection vs. Ordinary Reflection: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on June 23, 2024
Bragg's reflection involves diffraction of waves, especially X-rays, by crystal lattices, while ordinary reflection is the simple bouncing back of light from a surface.

Key Differences

Bragg's reflection occurs when X-rays are diffracted by the evenly spaced atoms in a crystal, leading to constructive interference at specific angles. Ordinary reflection happens when light waves bounce off a surface, following the law of reflection.
In Bragg's reflection, the angle of incidence and the spacing between crystal planes determine the diffraction pattern, crucial for analyzing crystal structures. In ordinary reflection, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, irrespective of the surface structure.
The wavelengths involved in Bragg's reflection are typically in the X-ray region, whereas ordinary reflection deals with visible light wavelengths.
Bragg's reflection is a fundamental concept in the field of material science and physics, while ordinary reflection is a basic concept in general optics.

Comparison Chart

Nature of Waves

Diffraction of X-rays or similar waves
Reflection of visible light


Crystal structure analysis
Everyday light reflection

Key Principle

Constructive interference in crystal lattices
Law of reflection (angle of incidence = reflection)

Field of Use

Material science, X-ray crystallography
General optics, everyday scenarios

Braggs Reflection and Ordinary Reflection Definitions

Braggs Reflection

Bragg's reflection depends on the crystal's atomic arrangement.
The precision of Bragg's reflection is crucial in semiconductor manufacturing.

Ordinary Reflection

It's a basic concept in optics.
Ordinary reflection is studied in basic physics classes to understand light behavior.

Braggs Reflection

Bragg's reflection is diffraction of waves, like X-rays, by a crystal.
Bragg's reflection is used to study the molecular structure of crystals.

Ordinary Reflection

Ordinary reflection does not involve wave interference.
The smooth surface of glass allows for clear ordinary reflection without interference.

Braggs Reflection

It's essential in X-ray crystallography.
Bragg's reflection assists in identifying new crystal forms in material science.

Ordinary Reflection

Ordinary reflection occurs with visible light.
The reflection of sunlight on a lake is an ordinary reflection.

Braggs Reflection

It involves constructive interference at specific angles.
Using Bragg's reflection, scientists determined the structure of DNA.

Ordinary Reflection

Ordinary reflection is the bouncing back of light from a surface.
A mirror provides a clear example of ordinary reflection.

Braggs Reflection

Bragg's reflection is characterized by the Bragg equation.
The Bragg equation helps calculate crystal lattice distances.

Ordinary Reflection

It follows the law of reflection.
The angle at which light hits a surface determines the angle it reflects, illustrating ordinary reflection.


What is ordinary reflection?

The simple reflection of light from a surface.

What fields use Bragg's reflection?

Mainly in material science and crystallography.

How do Bragg's reflection and ordinary reflection differ?

Bragg's involves diffraction in crystals; ordinary is basic light reflection.

Does ordinary reflection have a specific equation?

No, it follows the law of reflection.

What is Bragg's reflection?

It's the diffraction of waves by a crystal lattice.

Where do we observe ordinary reflection?

In everyday life, like in mirrors or water.

What is constructive interference in Bragg's reflection?

It's when waves reinforce each other at certain angles in a crystal lattice.

Can Bragg's reflection be observed with visible light?

It's typically observed with X-rays.

What is the Bragg equation?

An equation used to calculate crystal lattice spacing in Bragg's reflection.

Why is ordinary reflection important?

It's fundamental for understanding basic light behavior.

Does ordinary reflection involve wave interference?

No, it does not involve interference patterns.

How does crystal structure affect Bragg's reflection?

The atomic arrangement determines the diffraction pattern.

Can ordinary reflection be used to analyze materials?

Not for material analysis; it's more for general observation.

How does the angle of incidence affect Bragg's reflection?

It determines the diffraction pattern based on crystal spacing.

Is the Bragg equation applicable to ordinary reflection?

No, it's specific to Bragg's reflection in crystallography.

Is ordinary reflection affected by the surface structure?

Yes, the smoother the surface, the clearer the reflection.

Is ordinary reflection used in scientific research?

It's more relevant in educational and everyday contexts.

What kind of waves are used in Bragg's reflection?

Generally, X-ray waves are used.

Are there practical applications of Bragg's reflection?

Yes, in determining molecular structures and material composition.

What type of surfaces demonstrate ordinary reflection?

Any reflective surface like metal, water, or glass.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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